High up in western Shan State on the Shan Plateau stands the idyllic small town of Kalaw. A former popular hill station for the British fleeing the heat of the plains, Kalaw is fast becoming a popular holiday stop for both the locals and foreign travellers. The town has very much retained its laid-back atmosphere with a refreshing climate and scenic views. Many of Kalaw’s original colonial-era buildings remain too. The town is also notable for its significant population of Nepali Gurkhas and Indians, whose ancestors came here to build the roads and railway during the colonial era.
Surrounded by hills, Kalaw is now known as Myanmar’s trekking mecca offering a variety of options for exploration from a day hike to visit the local hill tribes or one of its many pagoda and monastery, to a multi-day trek to Inle Lake or Pindaya.
The multi-day Kalaw to Inle Lake trek is no doubt the most popular trek in Kalaw. It not only offers an interesting and scenic route to another one of Myanmar’s tourist highlights, Inle Lake, but also includes homestays with the hill tribe families. The trekking route through the hills will take you through pine forests, bamboo groves and hill tribe villages with rugged mountain views and local farming terraces.
About The Trek
The 3D/2N trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake covers a distance of 61km – 21 km the first day, 23km the second and 17km the third. This trek does not have drastic elevation of altitude or extreme mountain terrain to tackle. It is a tramping trek through hilly countryside mud trail. The trek starts from the hotel in Kalaw town on day 1. After about an hour walk on tarmac road, through the residential areas in the town, the trek merge to a mud trail that will take us through stretches of bamboo forests before the sprawling mountain scene come into view. On the hilly slopes, there are vast tea or orange plantations collapsing down the slopes to a deep valley. The trek continues through several hill tribe villages before we come to the one where our homestay is located. For the next 2 days, the trail continues to bring us to different hill tribe villages, at times passing through lovely rice, potato, vegetables and sesame fields, up and down over gentle rolling hills and other times along train tracks. The trek ends at Tone Lae, where we will have lunch, before the boat ride to main town in Inle Lake area – Nyaung Shwe.
The rainy season runs from June to September. During these months, the mud track on the trail can become extremely muddy, making it difficult or impossible to walk on.
October to January is the coolest season and the best time for the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek. There is little rain and the landscapes are still very green.
February to May is the hottest and dry season. It is still possible to do the Kalaw to Inle Lake trek during the hot and dry season. The daytime temperature is within bearable range from 30 to 25 degree C and the nights are cooling.
Fringe season: February to May
Best season: October to January
No trekking experience is required. Anyone with an average level of fitness can complete this trek. You will be trekking a total distance of 61km (21 km the first day, 23km the second and 17km the third) with a 3-5kg backpack load for 3 days.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a quick dry t-shirt or trekking shirt, trekking shorts or pants and trail shoes for this trek. In the evening, at the home stay, a warm jacket (an insulating layer) may be needed. Bring rain gear and waterproof your backpack.
A recommended packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
Arrive in Yangon.
Overnight: Yangon hotel (59m)
Transfer to Kalaw.
Overnight: Kalaw hotel (1320m)
Trek towards Inle Lake.
Overnight: Homestays at Ywa Pu (1320m), Pattupauk (1500m)
Boat ride from Tone Lae to Nyaung Shwe.
Overnight: Nyaung Shwe hotel (884m)
Free & easy day to explore Inle Lake area.
Overnight: Nyaung Shwe hotel (884m)
Transfer to Yangon.
Overnight: Yangon hotel (59m)
|8||Depart Yangon. (Programme ends here. Next day arrival on flight, if any, not reflected in itinerary)||B/-/-|
|xxxx 2021 (with a trip leader)||$900 (SGD) / person|
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the trip:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
For Start Trekking : Training and Gear/Trekking Health Knowledge Sessions
To help you prepare for your first trekking adventure, we have included a training session and a gear/heathcare knowledge session prior to your trip.
The training session will cover all the basic trekking techniques on footwork, pacing, how to use the trekking poles etc.
The trekking gear/ healthcare knowledge session will cover the layering system, footwear, hydration and high altitude health concerns such as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) etc.
Our Local Operator
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local operator has one of the top rating for organizing treks in Kalaw.
A visa to enter into India is required for all foreign nationals except Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan. An e-Visa can be applied online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in. The e-Visa is valid for 30-60 days depending on nationality and type.
For latest updates and details of visa application, please visit https://www.mha.gov.in/MHA1/TourVisa.html.
In Leh, money changing services can be found at the banks and moneychangers in the main town area around Main Bazaar. They accept USD, EUR, GBP and most major currencies. Do not accept dirty and torn notes as they may not be accepted at the shops. Double count your money before leaving the moneychangers to make sure the accurate amount is given.
ATMs are widespread and cards operating the international network of Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro would work with most.
Credit cards are gaining useability and may be accepted in most hotels, major retail outlets and mid-range to top-end restaurants/cafes. Small local retail or food stalls are highly unlikely to take credit cards. So, it is useful to keep a moderate amount of cash on hand.
In India the standard voltage is 230V. The standard frequency is 50Hz. The power sockets that are used are either the two narrow round pins (Type C) commonly used in Europe, or the three-pronged thick round pins (Type D).
The official language of India is Hindi and English, amongst 21 other dialects of the country. Hindi is the most spoken language while English is commonly used for national, political and commercial communication. Hotel and tourist service staff would be conversant in English.
It is strictly not recommended to drink water straight from the tap. Bottles of mineral water can be easily purchased in hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Many hotels also provide a small bottle of complimentary mineral water upon check in.
Tipping is common practice in India. In hotels, the bellman or porter can be given a token Rps10-20. Full service restaurants typically impose a service charge and that is usually considered to be sufficient. Tipping is not expected in taxis but good to tip if drivers are honest about the fare. Trekking guides and porters should be tipped as this is a major contribution to their income.
With evolving world situations that may occur unexpectedly due to natural disasters, pandemics/epidemics, conflicts and unrests, it is best to read up and keep tabs on news and developments at your destination country and region before the trip. Check on the country’s official website and/or your own foreign ministry website for any travel advisory or safety precautions to be taken while abroad.
As with traveling in anywhere in the world, regardless of the local crime rate, stay vigilant and take care of personal safety. Good to read up on any possible exposure in the country prior to departure.
It is a good practice to register with your respective foreign ministry if there is such a service provided to citizens, to contact you in order to make sure that you are safe and, if need be, assist you should an emergency (e.g. natural disasters, civil unrest, etc.) occur when you are overseas.
For Singaporeans, this is the link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ eRegister:
It is highly recommended to purchase comprehensive travel insurance(s), upon payment of your trip, to cover adverse situations that may occur while you are overseas or even before departure. Ensure that the coverage is suitable for your destination and the activities that you are participating in. Be familiar with the terms and conditions before purchasing and travelling abroad.
There is no compulsory vaccine to be taken to enter India. You should, however, be up to date on routine vaccinations, especially vaccines against water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (examples: hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis) while traveling to any destination. You are encouraged to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition.
Recommended routine vaccinations for travellers in general:
Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route. Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation are poor.
Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse. Risk is higher for those at occupational risk, long stays or frequent travel, children (exposed through cuts and scratches) and individuals who may need, or request, surgical procedures abroad.
Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.
Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A primary series of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine is recommended for life. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.
Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.
A vaccine specific for a given year to protect against the highly variable influenza virus.
For more information and professional advice on travel vaccinations, please consult your doctor or travel clinic.
For people residing in Singapore, you may visit The Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic (THVC) at Tan Tock Seng Hospital:
Travellers’ Health & Vaccination Clinic
Address: Level 4, Clinic 4B, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Medical Centre
Contact number: 6357 2222
Website : https://www.ttsh.com.sg/Patients-and-Visitors/Medical-Services/Travellers-Health-and-Vaccination-Clinic/Pages/default.aspx.